Just before 3 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 31, a stream gauge installed alongside Onion Creek near Twin Creek Bridge in Manchaca, just south of Austin, failed.
Maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey, the sensor beams out information about the water level every 15 minutes. According to its final reading, Onion Creek was already far above its regular flow level of five feet. It had climbed 22 feet in the previous three hours, and was still rising rapidly.
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TODAY IN THE STATESMAN,
MONDAY ON KVUE
Reporter Tony Plohetski spent several days examining the emergency response through the use of helicopters. Watch his report Monday on KVUE News at 6 p.m.
HOW TO HELP
Several agencies in the Austin area are collecting donations of items and money for flood victims:
Austin Disaster Relief Network
Collecting financial donations for gift cards, shelter, housing, rebuilding, transportation and other needs. To donate, visit www.adrntx.org or mail to Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN), P.O. Box 3817, Cedar Park, TX 78630.
The network also is organizing volunteers to help with the cleanup. Volunteer at www.adrntx.org/index.php/central-tx-flood-news or call 512-331-2600 for more information.
American Red Cross of Central Texas
Collecting financial donations. Visit www.redcross.org/tx/austin, call 512-928-4271 or mail to 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, TX 78723
Salvation Army of Central Texas
Collecting financial donations. www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin
River City Youth Foundation
Seeking clothing for children and adults, nonperishable food, water, diapers, toiletries, baby formula. Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Drive
United Way for Greater Austin
Has launched a text-to-give campaign and online donation page for flood victims. To make a $10 donation to support long-term recovery efforts for flood victims, text UWATX to 85944, or, to give online, visit uwatx.org/flood.
Rainfall map online
Find links to a detailed map of Oct. 30-31 rainfall totals, creek levels and previous coverage of the floods with this story at mystatesman.com.
This story reflects the American-Statesman’s focus on broader public safety issues raised by specific events. Previous investigations examined gaps in wildfire defenses for homes on Central Texas urban fringes, toppling light poles at school sports fields and splintering glass panels falling from downtown hotel balconies.